Last night I was out to eat with a couple of veteran buddies. We at some point passed over the topic of dealing with combat, briefly. There was one statement however that hung with me. One guy was like its all about your attitude, if you can just focus and tell yourself that you are normal you will be fine. Its all about a mind set. I felt bad about how I presented my counter view, but at the same time that mind set is a kin to just acting like you don’t have an issue at all. Its like letting the monster out of the closet, throwing a sheet over his head and telling him to stand in the corner, telling all your friends its a piece of modern art. That stuff just doesn’t fly. Lets relate that mentality of “if I close my eyes it will all be ok” to something else. If I cut my arm off and acted like its perfectly fine I will be ok, I mean I realize that my arm is cut off but I am just going to pretend everything is fine. But Dan its a mental thing not physical: Ok so lets go the other direction, lets say you are schitzophrenic you are telling me as long as you click your heels together three times and tell yourself you are normal it will happen… I bet your other personality would disagree.
When my buddy said it, it was said with great optimism and it seems very romantic. Part of that mentality can be useful but the full blown and sole reliance upon a mindset healing you is just dangerous and somewhat foolish. So what part of that is useful? I think this is where my buddy was going with what he was saying, if I stay positive, I can make this work. The mind is powerful beyond our comprehension, people have cured cancer in themselves just by staying positive. Because if the mind believes it the body and brain will follow. Not to mention PTSD and all the trauma that everyone deals with after retruning from combat was put there by utside influence, not by a knife or bullet of bomb, so in my mind it can be healed by applied force of will. I understand the power of a positive mind set but that is not simply enough.
Tell me what you think. Is a positive mindset enough? Is it important? What are your experiences with it?